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Water rescues ‘multiple times per day’ keep public safety agencies busy on rivers

Officials are warning about high river levels, fast currents and cold water, as people take to local beaches and rivers for Memorial Day weekend.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — With lots of snow melt after this wet winter, river levels are high and the water is fast-flowing and cold.

That’s why public safety agencies are calling on people to stay out of rivers this holiday weekend— or to be extremely careful.

At Sacramento County’s Tiscornia Beach, where the American and Sacramento rivers meet, the Drowning Accident Rescue Team (DART) have been present this weekend to help keep boaters and swimmers safe.

“A lot of the public safety agencies in the region are responding to – in some cases multiple times per day – a water rescue,” said DART spokesperson Zachary Corbo. “Both today and yesterday, there have been several calls for service. Actually, right now, this afternoon, both Sacramento City Fire Department and Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department are responding to simultaneous water rescues in two different parts of the area. It just underscores the fact that rivers, that we are often very familiar with, have changed and they are much higher risk this year than they have been in years past.”

On Sunday afternoon, the water temperature was about 54 degrees, which Corbo said might not sound cold – but can be dangerous if someone falls in.

Corbo recommends wearing a life jacket or at least having one close on hand in a boat and avoiding alcohol on the river.

Audrey McCurdey and her family came from Davis to Tiscornia Beach for a day of fun on Sunday. She has heard the warnings about the high, fast and cold water, so she made sure her 8 year old’s lifejacket was on securely.

“Wear your lifejacket. Make your kids wear their lifejackets. Even if you think you’re a strong swimmer, you’re not. The current can take you down,” said McCurdey.

Kids 12 and under are required to wear life jackets in Sacramento County, which many county parks have at lifejacket boards where people can borrow them for the day for free.


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